Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 begins

When I was a kid I remember any talk of future years that were in the late part of the last century seemed outrageously far away. And the new millenium seemed an impossible eventuality. Yet here we are a decade and a half into the "2000's" thanks to the amazingly fleeting nature of time.

2014 whizzed by in a blur on the heels of blurry 2013. The reason for that was that late in 2012 my mom was diagnosed with colon cancer and it really changed things for mom and all us kids. She had to have a sudden major operation with a long painful recovery. We saw the new year of 2013 in at the hospital.

Once mom was strong enough, she had faced the long chemotherapy haul. By fall of last year, it seemed like things were looking up. But one memorable day in October she had a seizure and from there it was all downhill. The doctors found two tumors in her brain.

I remember one doctor telling me that the "by the book" life expectancy given her circumstances was about eight weeks. I guess we caught a little break because we had her for a little better than 10 weeks. We saw the new year of 2014 in not in a hospital but in a hospice facility. Rough times.

It's been just about a year now since we said goodbye to mom. This year has been difficult. Adjusting to not having her around. Getting used to thinking about things I'd like to share with her and knowing that I can't just give her a call.

Then there's been the "stuff". Mom was not a wealthy woman and compared to some did not have a lot of possessions, and for the most part what she owned was not particularly valuable. But still.... there was stuff. Things, papers, mementos...just "stuff". We had a couple of yard sales. Divvied up the rest by who had space for it until we could sort and cull and disperse. My portion wasn't really that much, but it pretty much took me all year to deal with. It was a procrastination issue more than anything. Dealing with it was more about moving on than anything and I guess I just wasn't ready for that until very recently.

I've spent several weeks working on that challenge and I was surprised at how emotional some of the tasks still were. But it's been a good process mostly and I feel good and more in control of my life again. Not so stagnant. I've got lots more I'd like to do but I'm off to a good start. The living room is presentable and we can have company {without utter shame} again!

Here's to simplification and spending more time with and appreciating loved ones in 2015.

Friday, April 18, 2014

nsd is just around the corner

NSD (National Scrapbook Day) is the first Saturday of May --this year that happens on May 3rd. For the fourth year in a row, I'll be a vendor at a weekend crop in Orange County, California. And even though it will be a "working" weekend for me, there will be plenty of time between customers for  doing some of my own cropping.

My "PaperCraft Princess" traveling crafting boutique

There wasn't a lot of time for me to scrapbook over the past year (I'll save that topic for another post), but I'm looking forward to getting my crafty groove back on this year. In fact, I've already gone to one crop and managed to do a few layouts. And I'm really looking forward to getting some more done for NSD.

To boost my motivation/creativity/enthusiasm/productivity for that weekend, I've decided to join a couple of online events. The first one is Big Picture Classes "National Scrapbook Day 10k". The event is free and includes hourly ideas and inspiration from leading instructors. Participants will be posting their creations to Instagram (using the hashtag #NSD10k and the tag @bigpictureclasses).

Big Picture Classes
Free event with hourly inspiration

I'm also going to try to play along with some of the challenges at's (Inter)National Scrapbook Day event. They've already listed challenge "teasers" so participants can get supplies and photos ready.

ScrapbookdotCom NSD2014
Free event with a variety of challenges

Did I mention both events will be giving away prizes? Who doesn't love a giveaway, right?

So... what will YOU be doing for NSD 2014?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

project pinterest

I've been on Pinterest for some time now -- a year, maybe more. It's been such a great way to organize things I would've previously collected via bookmarks or images saved to my hard drive. Before Pinterest appeared in my life, my favorite tidbits were sprinkled about in various places and there was no single place to conveniently browse for inspiration or ideas.

I love that Pinterest pulls all these goodies into one convenient spot. It's like the best magazine I've every read - a catalog of favorites that's always growing and improving. (Because truth told, now I save even MORE things than I probably would've in the past -- does that make me a Pinterest hoarder? Hey, don't answer that.)

The continuing growth of my collection means that sometimes I have to split up interests by starting new boards and moving pins into a better defined category. It's a bit of a pain to do, but in the long run it makes browsing and finding things easier. I've just done this with my Personal Style board - splitting out some pins into new boards for Just Shoes & Bags & Belts, Hair, and Makeup & Cosmetics.

Now I'm about to tackle a big whomping pinterest re-do: food pins. Up until now, my collection of boards has not included any food pins or boards (other than a few pins in my Entertaining Ideas board). I'm not sure why I went this route, but instead of re-pinning food I chose to simply "like" those pins. So, now when I want to find recipes I have to go through SOoooooo many pins that it's just not practical any more. (I have over 3,000 likes to give you an idea of the monster I've created.)

So, divide and conquer is what's about to happen. It's a nasty job but someone's gotta do it and that someone is me.

Do you Pinterest? I'd love to check out your boards - just leave me a link in a comment.

Not familiar with Pinterest? You can learn more here.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

still here

Anaheim Convention Center Welcomes CHAW 2013
Despite my earshattering silence, I've been up to stuff lately. (Aren't I always?) Last month was the annual winter trade show from the Craft & Hobby Association (aka CHA). I was happy to again work with Pink Paislee /Heidi Swapp in their beautiful booth.  We had a team meeting the night before that included an introduction to Heidi's new media team (the sweetest girls, ever!) and a wonderful class from Heidi Swapp herself. There was also dinner and orientation for working the booth --all of it was lovely and much appreciated.

With Rebecca and Heidi

With the Heidi Swapp Media team (except for Kim, sadly)

 Booth duty was great fun as always and I really enjoyed being able to do make-n-takes for one of my shifts. If you know me at all, you know how much I love doing make-and-takes and demos. And teaching too for that matter!

With Elaine at the booth Make-n-Take Counter

On the subject of teaching, I'm hard at work planning some public classes this year. It's been awhile since I taught at a store. Lately, all of my gigs have been at private events such as crops and retreats. So, I'm kind of excited about getting back into the retail stores and meeting more happy, scrappy people. I'll be sure to post more once I've got things in place. While I'm thinking of it, if you are interested in keeping up with my teaching and other crafty shennanigans, be sure to follow me on twitter:

At my other favorite booth Epiphany Crafts with Cathi & Tina
A few weeks after CHA was over, I was back at the Anaheim Convention Center, this time for the Scrapbook Expo. I worked for two different vendors there. First, I did setup (and teardown) with the lovely people of Paper Wizard. In case you're not familiar with Paper Wizard, they are makers of beautiful, intricate pre-made laser cut titles and accents. The owners are an adorable husband and wife team who were a joy to work with. And they are music lovers, so we had tunes going the whole time we were setting up the booth. It's as good as better than whistling while you work!

With Eric & Bonnie of Paper Wizard after tearing down the booth

During the show, I worked a day and a half with another lovely family, this time the owners of Mon Ami Gabby, purveyors of a beautiful selection of elegant embellishments. It's always dangerous for me to be around a lot of luscious trim and flowers and the like. Like being a kid in a candy shop.

With Chris at Mon Ami Gabby

With Marina and Chris
 I was able to take some classes, too. I did a Melissa Frances bookbinding class taught by the lovely Kim Garner, a "Hot Off the Press" elegant cards class with Sophia of Strictly Scrapbooking and an awesome organization class with Tiffany of The ScrapRack. Plus, I had a half day to walk the floor for awhile with a friend I used to work with, and then for while with one of my besties. I guess you could really say I packed in all that I could in the few days I was there.

With Tiffany of The ScrapRack

With Kim of Melissa Frances

With Sophia of Strictly Scrapbooking

Now, I'm inspired and motivated and working up some ideas for National Craft Month to blog about . So, be sure to check back soon!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

fabulous weekend

This weekend was an extra special one. It started early, for one. I left town Thursday afternoon with my roomie Michelle Gutierrez  to check into this hotel in Manhattan Beach.

Springhill Suites

We were there for Teresa Collins' event "Inspired Journey" at the Manhattan Beach Marriott on Friday and Saturday. Due to a series of unfortunate events we weren't able to stay at the actual event venue, but our substitute location was fine with us (and we were only a couple of blocks away from the Marriott).

Michelle relaxes, creates & computes --all at once!
 We had such a great time - the event was terrific! We attended four classes over the course of the two days, each about three hours long and loaded with inspiration and cool techniques.

My group (class track) was the Sea Fairies

Ginger and Teresa Collins, Hosts/Event Co-ordinators

Manhattan Beach Marriott, our lovely event venue
Teresa taught two fabulous & elegant classes

Sande and Paula from 7Gypsies brought us a fast paced, exciting class

Rebecca of Pink Paislee shows off the super cute folder project we did with her

We met a lot of other great crafters, did a lot of networking and had a lot of fun, too. (Check out both Michelle's blog and  Teresa's blog for more about the event.)

Clockwise from top: Me, Martha, Michelle & Teresa

The event ended on Saturday evening and I said goodbye to my roomie. In her place my honey came out to join me. We had planned a mini getaway (an early anniversary celebration of sorts). We kicked around the Manhattan Beach area all day. It was so nice and relaxing. We jammed in as much as we could in one less-than-24-hour day:

Late breakfast at local landmark Dinah's
The workers never stop bustling at Dinah's

Next we hit the beach
The Roundhouse in the background

A pic by the hubster
The Manhattan Beach pier
Who would turn this offer down?
After our beach stroll, we caught an early showing of "The Avengers"
The weekend ended with dinner at 
Paul Martin's American Bistro

Sunday, April 29, 2012

spring cleaning, part 2

My Scrapbook Sale is now history. Mostly I'm happy about that, but I gotta confess that I've got a little bit of mixed feelings here.

On the one hand, I'm feeling really good because I finally was able to fit the sale into my schedule (I'd been planning to have one for nearly two years). I'm happy to say that I moved plenty of supplies on to new homes where they can have a fresh lease on life. So, yay me!

On the other hand, I'm a little surprised and honestly also a little disappointed at just how much stuff I actually still have. I'm talking stuff I didn't even go through. (Eeek!) The fact is, there just wasn't time to get to everything. I sorted and I thinned. I purged and I culled. I did what I could, but in the end I couldn't beat the clock. So, you know what that means - there is more purging in my future! And I may just be putting some of those goodies into giveaways here on my blog.

So stay tuned!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

spring cleaning

My Stamp Collection Awaits a Purge
Sort & discard, sort & discard... that's what I'm all about right now. After I re-did the scrap space last summer, I was a little bit naughty. I didn't unpack all the boxes of stuff that I'd moved out of my space.

See, the thing is my stuff just wasn't fitting in my work area. And even though I have an additional space to store my class items away from my work area, truth of the matter was that I'd exceeded available space there too. So, now all the excess is making me crazy and it simply must go! (I'm sure many of you fellow crafters can totally relate to this.)

So, what's one to do with all this STUFF when one decides it's no longer needed? One passes it on! That's right, I'm having another scrapper's flea market. I had one a couple of years ago and it was pretty successful, but I'm hoping to reach even greater heights this time. I want to be a lean mean machine on the other side of this.

Won't you please help a girl out and come take away some of this stuff? You know what they say - that one (wo)man's trash is another (wo)man's treasure. Those are truly words of wisdom. At the last sale, as well as getting rid of a whole lot of stuff, I was able to pick up a few items that solved some of my storage problems (a carrying case for my Cuttlebug, and a display rack for my PaperCraft Princess boutique).

Some of my crafty friends and fellow teachers will be here selling as well so I know they will be bringing some amazing things to sell. You really just never know what you're going to find.

Hope you are able to stop and shop (and please bring a friend!)

Check out my other blog for more info: PaperCraft Princess

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Graphic 45 Design Team 2012 Audition

"I didn't have big movie offers, or any big agents wanting to work with me. I had to go grassroots, start at the bottom and go on 150 auditions before someone finally gave me a shot."
~ Donnie Wahlberg

So, I guess you could say I can relate to the above quote. I'm a happy designer and teacher quietly working away in my corner of the big, bold world of crafting. There are no manufacturers banging down my door, no one with connections out there campaigning on my behalf. Like Donnie, I'm grassroots all the way, starting at the bottom and stepping up to audition for a place on the prestigious and very desirable Graphic 45 Design Team.

So am I ready for my close up? Honestly, I'm not sure about that, but nonetheless here it goes. These are some recent projects I've created using Graphic 45 products.

Project #1 - Gift Bag (Fashionista)
I thought it would be fun to alter a cereal box into something useful, so our empty box of raisin bran turned into something less healthy but much more appealing (if you ask me).

 Here is a close up of the flower I made to embellish it:

Project #2 - Diorama magnet (Steampunk Debutante)
I had fun re-coloring the metal base and the watch parts for this piece with alcohol inks. How lucky for me that the alcohol inks in my stash match the Steampunk Debutante line perfectly.

Project #3 - "On the Boulevard" layout (A Perfect Gentleman, Curtain Call)
I have to admit that I love crossing lines, and it's especially easy with Graphic 45. Many of the collections have shared elements and hues. It really lets me extend my options when I'm creating and was ideal for working with photos from my son's "Great Gatsby" themed graduation party.

Project #4 - Notecard (Fashionista)
I love making cards of all types, from the very clean and simple to those that are more elaborate and technique heavy. This one falls somewhere in between, I think.

Project #5 - "Well Behaved Women" mini quote book (On the Boardwalk)
I've made this little book for my dearest  friend who I know will treasure it. The bathing beauties in this collection just begged for a fun project to share with my BFF.

Project #6 - "Cards, Calls, Emails" organizer (Communique)
This little organizer is made from a standard sized manila file folder that I've folded into this cute little pocketed book. I'll be tucking a sheet into each pocket to keep track of my own communications. The last pocket holds a flip open book with contact info, and the closure for the organizer is a simple binder clip, easily removed and replaced.

Project #7 - "Party Girls" layout (Curtain Call)
One more layout to end my audition with. These are some more photos from my son's grad party. Once again, "Curtain Call" was an ideal choice.
Thank you for the opportunity, Graphic 45!  ~Cindy Fahrbach